In our household, we have a problem with excessive laughter at the dinner table (hence the “Laugh” sign over the table.) While this might not actually seem like a problem to most, when you have four people with swallowing dysfunction that could lead to aspiration pneumonia, the fear of them literally dying laughing is legit. Tonight we undoubtedly had our scariest and closest call. Giacomo, who has already been really struggling to eat, in general, got laughing so hard at Isadora’s antics that I thought we might lose him to fatal hysteria. Honestly, everyone was a little scared as he struggled to breathe.

Now, we could pretend that we aren’t going to have so much fun at our meals, but that’s just not possible. Instead, we came up with a new house rule: if you have a mouthful of food and someone makes you laugh, don’t try to chew and swallow through your laughter—find the nearest garbage can, compost bin, toilet, or bush, and spit out your food. Then continue laughing. And living.